Wednesday Wisdom

Happy Hump day my lovely Lionesses!!

Welcome to the first edition of The Smart Lioness’ Wednesday Wisdom!! You can look forward to posts about the latest Psychological Research I’ve been reading, but in a way that’s super easy to digest and apply to your life!!

Today I’m going to be talking about some of the latest research on SEX! Yup! You read that right! Sex!! Sexuality is such an important topic of discussion today because there is SO much of it in the media and in our society as a whole. We have all heard the phrase, “sex sells” right? Sex DOES sell but we are selling more than we are educating and accepting the facts of sexuality today, especially, as it relates to women!

The University of Oxford did a study on sex and found that sex more often could actually “make you smarter.” This particular study, found that people who have sex MOST OFTEN scored higher on a test of cognitive abilities than the less sexually active group in the study. The people in this study also had “better verbal fluency” — meaning they were able to “name the most words or animals that started with the letter ‘F’ in one minute.” These research participants also did better on visual tests as well.

Over half of the participants (37) said that they have sex weekly, 26 of them reported having sex monthly, and 10 of the participants said that they never have sex.

The researchers of the study were unable to explain WHY these participants were performing better on these tests. “Maybe hormones like dopamine or oxytocin that are released during sex have something to do with it”, was one possibility that was mentioned. In addition, sex more often correlates to a more active life overall, which is connected to better brain functioning.”

However, there were some things to point out about the validity of this study. The study was small with only 73 individuals who participated. So, we can’t say that the study was big enough and included a sample that was representative of the population at large.

Which means we can’t DEFINITELY say that “sex once a week makes you smarter, but it doesn’t hurt!” And at the very least, more frequent sex can give you and your significant other more time to connect, and at the most it might just boost your brain power!” 

 

Source: “Science Just Gave Us Another Reason to Have More Sex,” Kasandra Brabaw; Refinery29

Distorted Thinking Infographic

We all have ways of thinking about things that are distorted, like a funhouse mirror that makes you look super duper tall and skinny or super short and fat. But its just a distorted version of the truth!

Take a look at these different types of thinking and see which apply to you and start questioning your thoughts & that inner critic. Because THEY LIE!

 

Having Trouble Sleeping?

Are you having trouble getting to sleep?

If so, you are not alone!

“Two new reports on the prevalence of unhealthy sleep behaviors and self-reported sleep-related difficulties among U.S. adults provide further evidence that insufficient sleep is an important public health concern.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention even called insufficient sleep, a public health epidemic last year! 1 in 10 adults have insomnia, and 1 in 2000 people suffer from narcolepsy. Sleep problems are incredibly common in the U.S. but that doesn’t make it ok for us to just ignore, and do nothing about.

No matter what your age is, not getting enough sleep, is bad for your health. Research shows us that not getting enough sleep does all kinds of bad things to your body and mind. Sleep deprivation causes us to eat more, is linked to type 2 diabetes, and leads to slower reactions times. Slower reaction times can impair driving and according to reports, falling asleep at the wheel is 2nd in line to drinking for most common cause for wrecks. Poor sleep also can suppress your immune system and cause you to get sick more often.

SO! How many hours of sleep SHOULD you be getting? Well, it depends on your age! Take a look at the following information on how many hours of sleep you should get depending on your age according to a CNN article.

There are now nine age categories, some of them new. Anything more or less than the identified range is simply not recommended:
• Newborns (0 to 3 months) — 14 to 17 hours per day
• Infants (4 to 11 months) — 12 to 15 hours per day
• Toddlers (1 to 2 years old) — 11 to 14 hours per day
• Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) — 11 to 14 hours per day
• School age (6 to 13 years old) — 9 to 11 hours per day
• Teens (14 to 17 years old) — 8 to 10 hours per day
• Younger adults (18 to 25 years old) — 7 to 9 hours per day
• Adults (26 to 64 years old) — 7 to 9 hours per day
 Older adults (65 and older) — 7 to 8 hours per day
So now that you know how many hours of sleep you should be getting, I’ve put together an infographic of some tips for getting more restful sleep. I also suggest trying the Free App HeadSpace or simply searching YouTube for a progressive relaxation video to help you relax and get ready for bed.
To measure your Sleep Debt and see how sleep deprived you really are you can Sleep Debt Handout to download the Free PDF and answer the questions & then total up your answers to receive your score.
If you find that your still having issues sleeping after trying multiple ways of inducing sleepiness, it might be time to go see your doctor, and make sure that something more serious isn’t involved.
Knowledge is POWER! Take care of yourselves my lovely lioness ladies!! You are needed and loved! And you CANNOT take care of other people if you  yourself are not taken care of first! The airline instructions always tell you to put your oxygen mask on FIRST, before putting on your child’s mask! BECAUSE, if you pass out trying to put your child’s mask on, how are you going to continue to take care of and comfort the child THEN?! YOU CAN’T! Ok, so same logic here! If you are on empty, what good are you for the people that you love and want to care for?
Be Passionate.
Stay Grounded.
Be Brave.
& Stay Connected.
You got this girl!

What motivates you to eat?

Psychological motivations play an important role in both healthy & disordered eaters. 

An eating disorder usually stems from consciously & consistently acting on coping, compliance, & pleasure motivations. Even those people who diet can see their eating as motivated by feelings of depression, or feelings of personal inadequacies or use eating as a way to comfort themselves.

We cope with our feelings and emotions in various ways and eating is one of the most popular. Eating to deal with our emotions although a popular method is not a healthy method. So the first step to changing your methods of coping is to identify what the problems are, or identify your motivations to eat currently. If you are in my July Challenge group, I will be posting the worksheet for this blog post in the group. If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email at thesmartlioness@gmail.com

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat & Periscope

Emotional Wellness Check

How’s You’re Emotional Wellness??

The guidelines for getting ripped  & eating healthy are just TWO of the THREE key elements of our overall health. Your mental health and wellness are just as important as the other two ends of the wellness triangle.  Abraham Maslow comes to mind with all this talk of triangles because he believed that we have a “Hierarchy of Needs” that must be met, to be happy, healthy, and successful in life.

 

But I don’t know that Maslow had it all figured out, he only studied healthy, well rounded (perfect) people, which were at the time, all healthy, rich, white, men (think Abraham Lincoln, etc.) so I don’t think this triangle accounts for everything.

Another thing Maslow oversimplified was the relationship between motives & behavior. For example, most people need respect from someone before entering into a relationship with them. Maslow did recognize that a given “motive” did not have to be 100% satisfied before we move to a higher need. He said our needs are not completely met most of the time. Statistics show that the average American has 85% of their physiological needs met, 70% safety, 50% belonging, 40% self esteem, and 10% self actualization.

It still makes sense though that, how well lower needs are met, determines how much those needs influence our behavior.

The way we satisfy a particular need varies across cultures, in our society, becoming a doctor or a lawyer may win respect from others. Other cultures may respect different jobs or skills like hunting.

Maslow didn’t believe that any one given behavior was motivated by one single need, he thought that is was the product of multiple motivations. Sexual behaviors for example, may be motivated by a”need for sexual release, a need to win, or express affection, by a sense of conquest or mastery and/or by a desire to feel feminine or masculine.”

Another set of needs not included in the triangle are cognitive needs (the mind), things like the need to know, and the need to understand. We express these needs in how we analyze or reduce things to their basic elements.  Another example of a cognitive need is the need to experiment. To see what will happen when we do this or that.

Cognitive needs appear early in life and are seen in a child’s natural curiosity, you know that stage where your child has an endless stream of questions… like,  why???? But failure to meet these needs can hinder the development and full healthy functioning of the individual. And by failure to meet these needs I mean, sometimes teachers or parents can teach a child to inhibit their spontaneity or curiosity because it can get overwhelming, etc.

So If you are participating in my July Challenge, “Learning to Love Myself,” I want you to apply Maslow’s hierarchy to your own life.  Reflect on your own activities for the past month or so and then you will decide how satisfied you are with your behaviors, as it relates to having your needs met. What behaviors will fit into each of Maslow’s categories and how satisfying are these behaviors? (I will provide you with a worksheet to help you work on this!) Make sure you answer the following questions as well!

Do your needs in lower categories receive higher ratings than others?

Is it easier to think of certain behaviors belonging to one level or anther?

Do certain behaviors reflect more than one motive??

Are there important motives not included?

Are you failing to meet some needs in your hierarchy? If so, does this suggest changes you would like to make priorities?

If you aren’t having all of your needs met, make notes of what areas you need to work on, so we can discuss it in our consult. If you have any questions or need help feel free to message me!

 

If you aren’t in my challenge yet you can go over to my FREEBIES page for the quiz below!!

Take my quick quiz to test your Emotional Wellness I.Q. & Keep it to test yourself occasionally to see how your emotional wellness is doing & when it could use a boost! If you find that your score is in either the “Danger Zone” or “Dangerously low” consider joining my July Self Care Challenge.

National Weight Control Registry

Will you join the National Weight Control Registry?

food.jpg

Did you know that there is a National Data base full of people who have become successful at maintaining their weight loss??? ME either!

It was established in 1994 by James Hill of the University of Colorado & Reno Wing of Brown Medical School.  The goal of this project was to identify successful weight loss  and maintenance strategies.

To enroll in the database you must have:

  •      Must be 18 years of age
  •      Lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year.

The database has more than 5,000 people enrolled!!! And guess what…. WOMEN make up 80% of that while men make up only 20%!!! From everything else you see and here in the media, it’s easier for men to lose weight, and keep it off! And this database is full of FACTS that fight several myths about weight loss.

Myth 1: Everyone who loses weight, always gains it back

Myth 2: Its easier for men to maintain their weight loss

If you are interested in enrolling in this database, you will need to know:

     There is no compensation

You must fill out a packet of questionnaires when joining & one for each year afterwards that you are enrolled.

  • Some other important & interesting thingto know about the research gained from this database:
  • Almost all of the participants made substantial changes in their eating & exercising habits to lose and keep off the weight.
  •  Some suggesting a low fat diet
  •  One hour of exercise a day

Weight registry

Now that you know the details & requirements, will you set a goal to be able to register for this Database? Or have you already met the requirements to join the registry? If so, will you? Why or why not?

If you want to check out the website, follow this link – National Weight Control Registry 

Let me know in the comments!

Startling Teen Statistics on Birth Control Methods

I recently saw an article condoms.jpegthat reported some pretty alarming statistics that I thought I would share! Whether you are a parent or not, I think that this might be something that you would want to hear and if you don’t want to hear it you definitely NEED to hear it! And this is not at all to scare you, but to show you the facts and realities of teen sexuality in today’s world.

Teens are are going to have sex. This is just a reality that must be accepted. There are exceptions to this but exceptions are RARE.

A new study was published from the Center for Disease Control on teens and sex and it revealed that most teens are using birth control when engaging in sex, which is a great thing!  The study explained that 99.4% of sexually experienced teen girls used some form of contraception.

The scary part of this study was that the second most popular “method of contraception” was the “pull out method.” This method was second to the use of condoms, but 60% of adolescent girls reported having used this “method” of birth control.

We all know that this method is nearly impossible to use perfectly, especially for a someone just learning what sex is, what it feels like,and how to navigate their feelings And, according to the Guttmacher Institute, people that use this method have the highest rates of contraceptive failure, 20% ending in pregnancy within a year.

Some people defend this method to the death, but what it also doesn’t account for is STDs! The pull out method definitely doesn’t prevent anyone from getting an STD, so its incredibly important to teach teens to use condoms if & when they are going to be sexually active.

kidssextalk

Sex is not always an easy subject to talk about with your kids but it MUST be done, because sometimes the alternative is a conversation where your child tells you they are pregnant, or got someone pregnant. If sex is a subject you have difficulty talking with your kids about, I’m giving some tips below. However, feel free to contact me for more tips! I would be glad to help you out!

  • Use age appropriate language
  • Answer questions about sex as soon as they start asking questions with age appropriate language
  • Teens report appreciating having knowledge about sex and about 50% say that if they don’t get that information from their parents or friends, they seek out info online (NOT WHERE YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO LEARN ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES!!)
  • Keep an ongoing conversation about sex with your kids– for example, See a magazine in the checkout line at Walmart that’s a little sexy and your kids start asking questions- answer them openly and honestly while expressing your morals and values
  • Never shame or make a child feel guilty for being curious!

Source 

The following link gives you some good resources for talking to your kids about sex.

Guide for Age Appropriate Discussions about Sex